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Apam rejects Dausi apology

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By Macdonald Thom & Peter Kanjere:

Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi (Apam) President, Overstone Kondowe, has described as ‘not honest’ Homeland Security Minister Nicholas Dausi’s apology over remarks he made recently in relation to planned vigils against the killing of people with albinism.

“Let me say that it is Apam that requested for the apology and that he should also step down. We are yet to see a copy of that apology. His apology, though not addressed to us, is not honest. Why has it taken him that long to make the apology? Is it because of pressure?” Kondowe Monday said when asked for a reaction to Dausi’s apology.

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Addressing the press in Lilongwe on Tuesday, Dausi appeared to suggest that there was no need for Apam to stage vigils from March 6 to 8 at the State House in Lilongwe because attacks on persons with albinism have not reached crisis levels, sparking public outrage.

In reaction to Dausi’s remarks, Kondowe last week Wednesday announced Apam’s withdrawal from the Presidential Taskforce on Persons with Albinism.

In view of this, Dausi released a statement yesterday apologising for his remarks, which he says have caused “pain, anguish and discomfort in some sections of the public in particular people with albinism”.

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“I truly regret that the true meaning which I had intended at that briefing did not come out as it was, I sincerely regret. I personally want to assure all persons with albinism that I am equally concerned. My ministry and I personally fully appreciate the pain, anguish and fear the abductions and killings of people with albinism have caused on Malawians,” the statement reads.

Dausi says under President Peter Mutharika’s guidance, his ministry is working with all stakeholders to stop the attacks and ensure that all persons with albinism are safe in Malawi.

But Kondowe said even if Apam receives a copy of Dausi’s apology, they would reject it unless he resigns because he has failed to demonstrate the right attitude for a political head of a ministry that is supposed to protect people with albinism.

Last week, Amnesty International, one of the human rights watchdogs, faulted Dausi for making the “shameful denial comments”.

At least 24 people with albinism have been killed since 2014. In recent months, there has been a resurgence in the attacks on people with albinism, with some cases reported in Nkhata Bay, Karonga and Dedza

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